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Where is that Beautiful Music Coming From? A Story of Hope and Peace

 by Lila Morgan,

There Was No Music In Our House

When I was a nine-year-old Kansas girl in 1935, our city’s health officer placed a sign in the window of our red-brick house-SCARLET FEVER. It warned those approaching not to enter. All the joyful music in our happy household stopped.

My seven-year-old sister, Mary Ann, contracted the illness after exposure to a sick child in the neighborhood. Needless to say, this diagnosis brought fear to our home. Mother cared for our sister night and day. Then, the unthinkable happened. She, too, was stricken! A scarlet rash covered her body, and her temperature soared. As she struggled with this often-fatal sickness, happy children’s songs froze on our lips.

Our father, a welder in a refinery, hired nurses to work around the clock, and a housekeeper to care for us. Friends brought food to the door, but they never stayed more than a few moments. Only our father and the nurses could enter or exit. We were an island of sickness and sorrow.

There were no sulfa drugs or medicines in those days to fight infections. Mother’s fever rose higher and higher until it reached 108 degrees, and she became blind.

White flower with text overlay:How You can hear the beautiful music of heaven experience it daily

Shortly before her death, mother asked her nurse, “Where is that beautiful music coming from?”

Daddy snuggled my two sisters and me around him in his large, overstuffed chair. “Your mother is going to heaven,” he said, as his voice broke with emotion.

Before she died, Daddy allowed us to enter her bedroom. “I love you, Mother,” I said. I could tell she recognized my voice.

Leaving her room, I curled into a fetal position on the divan, retreating undisturbed into my own silent world. My grief was too much to bear, because I couldn’t hear the heavenly music which comforted by mother.

The day of her funeral was set apart like no other in my experience. Because she died of a contagious disease, only a graveside service could be held. Dorothy, my older sister, and I had to stay in the car so people couldn’t touch us as they walked by to offer their condolences. Mary Ann remained at home.

While Mary Ann was recovering, I helped entertain her. We had a metal tray and some small marbles which fit into a groove around the edge. After putting several of them in the groove, we tipped it so the marbles would race around the outside rim. There was an art to tipping it only so high so they wouldn’t roll off. We both became experts at this improvised game.

When Mary Ann was well, we all tried to pick up the pieces of our lives and go on, but Mother’s absence made it terribly difficult. Every day, when Father came home from work, we drove to the cemetery north of town. We took fresh flowers from our garden, and often cut the grass around the small marble tombstone which said MOTHER. Even near her grave, I couldn’t hear the music she loved. How we sorrowed for her.

A cemetery has a social atmosphere which only those who grieve experience. We met others who had lost loved ones, and we shared our losses with each other. It helped our grief as the days came and went.

Although she was fifteen, Dorothy’s handicap made her unable to help care for a household,. Because of this, Daddy hired a live-in housekeeper. He converted a long porch on the back of our house to another bedroom, and hired a cook, housekeeper, and sitter all rolled into one–for the handsome sum of three dollars a week.

During the course of three years, we had thirty-some women care for us. We would no more get acquainted with one than she would quit, or dad would fire her. One woman lasted two days. On her second day on the job, she spanked little Mary Ann for not coming in the house when she called. When Daddy came home and saw tears in his darling’s eyes, he immediately asked the housekeeper to pack her things. He took her home pronto, and we girls thought, Good riddance!

Another woman brought some little “friends” with her when she moved into our house– scabies! We all caught them within days. Bathing and a foul-smelling ointment prescribed by our doctor took care of the problem. After we rid our house of her “friends,” she stayed for several years. In her sixties, she loved to smoke, but Daddy let her only do it in the bathroom. She was in there a lot!

Hope, Peace and Music Never Came

The years dragged by until I became a teenager, and I attended a Baptist church with my best friend. I discovered a wonderful group of friendly people who loved and cared for my sisters and me. Before long, we girls went every Sunday, but Daddy only came with us on special occasions like Easter or Christmas. However, the church people reached out to us, and because of that, I would eventually learn why mother heard such beautiful music on her deathbed.

One young woman in the church considered herself a matchmaker. It wasn’t too long before a red-haired young man, Harold, and I became her project. We were both shy, so she proceeded to help us become acquainted by insisting I sit next to him on the way home from a church get-together at the park.

It worked. We were married before he served in the Army Air Force on Guam during WWII. When Harold came home after three long years, we started a new life together. He had a number of jobs: a farm hand, aircraft work, and finally a great job with the refinery where my father worked. Life seemed good, and we welcomed the first of our four children of two boys and two girls.

The church where we’d met and married was a vital part of our everyday lives. One day, Harold bounded in the door after work announcing, “Honey, Guess what. The Lord is calling me to preach!”
I thought, No way!

That role for either of us was out of the question for me. Yet, he seemed so happy and thrilled with the prospect of preaching the rest of his life. Although I was a member of the church, I did not hear the “song” he sang. Although I had been baptized by immersion, completely submerged, nothing had been washed away from the inside out.

“Harold, you mean to leave a good job? Move to who knows where?”
My lack of enthusiasm caused agony for my husband. One day, he went into a pasture, sat down and poured out his heart to the Lord, “I feel called to preach, Lord, but I don’t know how it can happen. Lila is not in agreement with me, and school seems out of the question.”

Soon, he felt the Lord’s hand on his shoulder with these words, “It’s going to be okay.”

Things Began to Change

B;ue background with text overlay: Where is that beautiful music coming from

I found excuses for not going to church with Harold. Finally, a series of events brought me to the point where I could risk everything to follow my husband’s calling. First, the Lord grabbed my attention through a radio program while Harold was at church one evening.

Next, near our town was a rural schoolhouse where our church started a Sunday school for those in the area. Before long, Harold was preaching there. Still, I struggled to hear the beautiful music he heard.

One week, a guest preacher came to speak at our rural church. He knew the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and quoted many parts of it by heart.

One Scripture touched my soul, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6 KJV). That verse led to a sleepless night. I tossed and turned, in great turmoil–caught in a terrible battle–as Satan pulled me to continue to go astray, but the Lord pulled harder and won my heart.

I finally said, “Yes Jesus, direct my life as Lord and Savior.”

Eternal Music Came Into My Life

The eternal music came into my life and peace enveloped me. I understood why my mother heard the angels sing on her deathbed. I shared in Harold’s calling to the ministry.

He graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University, utilizing the GI Bill, and we spent thirty-five years serving the Lord together, in harmony.

Now, at eighty years of age, that question-“Where is that beautiful music coming from?”-may be addressed before long to those who stand around my deathbed. I pray my children will be comforted as they realize I have joined my mother and family, and we will be there waiting for them, where the saints and angels sing glorious words of praise to Almighty God for all eternity.

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This story is written by my mother, Lila Lee Morgan.  She died November, 2015, three years after my father.  She wrote this article for the book,  His Forever: Stories of Real People finding Jesus. It wasn’t published because they needed men’s stories at the time. However, my father’s and my son Kurt’s stories are published in this compilation book.



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M4B God is Peace – Jehovah Shalom – Gideon

So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it, The Lord is Peace. . . .Judges 6:24

Gideon Did Not Need a Large Army

GideonGideon, a judge of the Old Testament, also found he did not need a large army to overcome fear in the land and in his own heart. The book of Judges tells the story of the Israelites in the Promised Land, after the death of Joshua, before the Lord gave them Kings–such as King Saul, David and Solomon.

Through the lifetimes of six judges, the people followed the Lord. Each time a judge died or a generation died out, the people reverted back to worshiping the false god of their enemy–Baal. They chose gods of their own making, becoming selfish, rather than dying to self and allowing God to fight their battles for and through them. After their enemies gained the advantage over them, due to their sin, God always forgave the Israelites. They confessed their sin and God repeatedly delivered them in the way only He could do-supernaturally, so only He could get the glory, just as He did for Kim.

God never does anything to bring peace that could mistakenly be credited to man’s human ability. There is no better example of this from the stories of the judges than that of Gideon.

After forty years of peace and Judge Deborah’s death, the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord for seven years. During this time, the Midianites and Amalekites oppressed them so much they actually retreated to the mountain clefts and caves to live. They came out to plant their crops, but the enemy invaded their country like locusts and camped on the land, ruining their crops and slaughtering the livestock. Once again, the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help.

The Lord sent a prophet, who said:

This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me. Judges 6:7-10

Then, one day, Gideon, the son of Joash, was threshing wheat in a hiding place safe from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judg. 6:12).

“But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Judges 6:13-14.

Am I Not Sending You?

Gideon, am I not sending you?Let us put ourselves in the shoes of Gideon. Suppose we are doing laundry, and the Lord appears to us and calls us a “warrior.” We are hungry to see the miracles we heard once happened, that are in the Bible, and now God is telling us that if we are to see those things happen, they must come through me. “Am not I sending you?” the Lord said. Chanté and her mother had to choose to be used by God. Chanté spent two years, after being delivered from drugs, in a lot of prayer asking God to change her and to use her.

No less than we would do, Gideon resisted, complaining his clan was the weakest of all and that he was the least in his family, thinking, no one ever gives me a second thought. But the Lord told him, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together” (Judg. 6:16).

Gideon wanted a sign that this person talking to him truly was the Lord. Gideon asked him to wait so he could prepare an offering. The Lord waited. Gideon prepared a goat and unleavened bread and brought it to Him. The Lord had him put it on a rock, take his staff, touch the meat and bread; fire consumed the peace offering. Immediately, the Lord disappeared. This was the sign Gideon had asked for.

Gideon Built an Altar and Called it “The Lord is Peace”

When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Ah, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”

But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord is Peace. . . .Judges 6:22-24

Blue sky and clouds with text overlay: The Lord is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord is Peace

Gideon heard these words of peace from the Lord after He had disappeared. The root word from Hebrew for peace is shâlôm, meaning health, security, tranquility and welfare.1

That night, the Lord was still with Gideon and instructed him to tear down his father’s altar to Baal. Gideon knew ten men who were willing to help him, and they obeyed. With the wood from the heathen altar, they created a proper altar for sacrifices to the Lord God.

Gideon and Kim both went against their parents’ wishes and way of life. Gideon did what his father was afraid to do. Surprisingly, his father stood up for Gideon to the town’s people saying, “If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar” (Judg. 6:31).

Unlike Gideon’s dad, Kim’s mother persecuted her by calling her “stupid” and berated her because of her Godly standards. Not only did she try to convince Kim she was crazy, but she put in the minds of Kim and her sister that each hated the other. It would only be after Kim’s mother’s death that the Lord would reveal to Kim if her mother ever became a Christian.

After much doubting Gideon chose to be obedient to the Lord and gathered all the men he could to help him defeat their enemies.

The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave. . . .
–Judges 7:2-3

Twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. Less than one third had faith in the Lord’s ability to save them. Still, the Lord said there were too many men. He told Gideon He would handpick them. Gideon took the men down to the water to drink. The men who lapped the water from their hand-those who stayed alert and watching, not taking their eyes off the situation-were chosen. Of the ten thousand men, only three hundred remained.

During that same night, the Lord told Gideon if he was afraid to attack and wanted encouragement, to go to the camp of the enemy and listen to what they were saying. Gideon and a friend arrived at the opposing camp outposts just as an enemy guard was telling his friend his dream, “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”

“His friend responded, ‘This can be nothing than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands'” (Judg. 7:13-14).

Encouraged, Gideon worshiped God, ran back to the camp and shouted, “Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands” (Judg. 7:15).

Dividing the men into three companies, Gideon put trumpets, empty jars and torches in their hands. The men broke the jars, blew the trumpets, and shouted, “For the Lord and for Gideon!” The Lord caused the men in the enemy’s camp to turn on each other with their swords. Gideon and his men pursued the army and their leaders, overcoming them all. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land enjoyed peace for forty years.

* * *

Kim learned, as did Gideon, she could trust God’s ability, His power, and His goodness in her life. She learned there are times when God desires to exhibit that ability, power and goodness through others-when she was unable to do it for herself. (She also learned that many movies and television shows kept her in bondage.)

Kim recalls when Jesus raised his dear friend from the grave, He utilized help from others for Lazarus. He “. . . called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go'” (John 11:44). Jesus then asked those around Lazarus to remove the soiled stinky rags from a four-day-old corpse, because Lazarus was so bound he could not do it for himself.

Chanté and her mother were “mighty warriors” who stormed the kingdom of God like two ferocious BEARs–they did not rest until they possessed what they needed and wanted–peace for their friends. They knew that aside from Jehovah-Shalom there is no peace.

They B-elieved God, they E-xpected the victory; they A-sked from God on Kim’s behalf; and they R-eceived from the Lord. They did it all “in the name of Jesus.” By so doing, Jehovah gave strength; Jehovah-Shalom blessed his people with peace (see Ps. 29:11).


  1. Spiros Zodiates, Th.D., Executive Editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 1990) p. 1785.